Consider the following: the School Busing Amendment (to cut back the Equal Protection Clause); the Flag-Burning Amendment (to curtail the First Amendment Free Speech Clause); the Religious Equality Amendment (ditto, the Establishment Clause); the Victims Rights Amendment (gutting the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments); the Federal Marriage Amendment (to restrict the Equal Protection Clause and, incidentally, destroy "traditional" state authority over marriage).
What do these proposed constitutional amendments have in common? Each was a cynical election-year ploy, proffered by politicians who are, in fact, relying on the fact that the Constitution is very hard to amend. They are an attempt to wring some transient electoral advantage out of promising to do so, knowing there is no chance that it will happen.
In short, they show contempt for the document American office holders are sworn to uphold.
The latest politician to trash the Constitution is South Carolina's Sen. Lindsey Graham, who now says he is in favor of amending the Fourteenth Amendment to do away with its guarantee of citizenship to everyone born in this country. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne has masterfully skewered the rhetoric Graham has used to denigrate babies born in this country to undocumented immigrants; their parents are in this country, says the pro-life Graham, to "drop a child" and thereby acquire a citizen in the family. The cry has been eagerly taken up by Republican politicians trying to get ahead of popular outrage about illegal immigration, including Sen. John McCain, who has by now surely atoned for his tragic outbreak of statesmanship on the immigration issue.